Written by Holly Madden, LeadHer Local Director. Connect with Holly on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

You cannot put me in a box. I am the kind of girl that will fight parameters with my entire being. I am not defined by titles or descriptions, my day is not filled with routines and day planners, and if you give me an agenda with lines, boxes, and categorized spaces, I will turn it over and write on a blank page. I will never fit inside of a box.

Our LeadHer Local Chapters this month are talking about the difference between discipline and routines and for me, the two can be challenging to separate. Discipline requires consistency and consistency can look a lot like a routine so I often fail at both. While I consider myself a disciplined person in many areas, I prefer the word spontaneous with self-control. So, to be real, this month’s teaching was challenging for me. Especially in the area of daily quiet times with Jesus.

A few years ago when I fell in love with Jesus and He became my reason for living, I refused to engage in the routine of daily quiet time. Instead, I found myself craving what I call my “Jesus time,” the time I spend alone with Jesus. Each and every day, this time looks different. Some mornings, I crawl into the bowl-like chair I like to call my Abba chair and dive into my Bible and just read the poetry of the Psalms, the history of the Old Testament, or the always renewing passages of the Gospels. Other mornings, I camp out on my balcony with a cup of green tea or a homemade smoothie and I have learned to just sit in His presence, no words, no Bible, no music, just the stillness of His love and grace surrounding me. Some mornings I turn up worship music as loud as it can go and I dance around my apartment as I prepare for the day, finding moments where my dance with Jesus brings me to my knees or with my arms raised to heaven in a posture of worship. And some mornings I put the leash and harness on my dog and take off on an adventure, a run or a long walk with nothing but the sound of the birds, the cool of the breeze, and the sound of my conversations with my Heavenly Father.

There has never been structure about my quiet time, but I’ve learned to embrace the beauty of these moments between me and God because in their spontaneity, I have found that His presence is my consistent because He always meets me there. I find Jesus in a field of wildflowers and bluebirds, in the quiet of my kitchen, in the worship music in my car as I drive to work, in the busy coffee shop filled with distraction and atmosphere, in the moment my husband disrupts my time with Jesus with a sweet kiss goodbye, and in my bedroom closet on my knees as I cry out for strength and understanding.

You cannot compare your time alone with Jesus with anyone else because your time with Him is sacred and intimate. Maybe you find Him as you rock a sleeping child to sleep, or in the coffee line each morning as you seek both caffeine and faith to get you through the day. Maybe you find Him in a sermon on a podcast, in between the lines of a deep theological study on Scripture, or in writing a song. Maybe you find Him in the Psalms, the Gospels, or the Epistles, or on the treadmill each morning at the gym. Maybe you find Him in the car, at practice on the soccer field, or in the quiet moments before you fall asleep. Comparison will turn your quiet time into a routine or will frustrate you out of even trying.

One of my favorite Bible verse continues to be Psalm 27:8 NLT: “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”  I hope it inspires you today to not let a busy schedule, a child home sick, fear, or shame stop you from spending time with Jesus.